LAKE WORTH, Fla. - Please forgive all the 1980s references in this story. Roller Derby, yes that thing you may remember from the '80s, is still alive and well at Skate Zone in Lake Worth. And the team representing South Florida is called Dub City. This hardy team of ladies each has their personal alter ego, and roller derby names like Dr. Ruth Less, Naughty Ninja, G.I. JOY, and Shell Shocker. These women are far from dainty.
"We're nice to you, but we'll also hit you really hard," remarks "V. Riser" (a.k.a. Julia Belcher from Jensen Beach). "It's just such a release to be like, be a little aggressive and take up a lot of space," remarks "Peace Corpse" (a.k.a. Jenn Hersheim from West Palm Beach). She continued, "Because, I know I'm going to get a little feminist on you, but like honestly a lot of times people tell women they should be small and (in a high-pitched squeaky voice) and talk like this, and be quiet and not be loud and aggressive."
Requirements to participate in Roller Derby
Be 18 or over
Self-identify as a female
Julia showed me the ropes by giving me my first lesson and geared me up with a helmet, wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads. Honestly, I thought the safety gear was a little overboard since, after all, I'm a child of the '80s and we never wore such things because safety was the last thing on our parent's minds. Then I put on my skates wobbled around a bit, and realized, yeah the gear is a good thing. My skates looked like they were stuck in time from a bad '80s movie.
The first lesson was learning how to fall because believe it or not falling correctly prevents more serious injuries. When Julia demonstrated how to fall she looked like she should have been in a highly choreographed scene in "Footloose."
When I fell I looked like the Life Alert lady, "I've fallen and I can't get up!"
I did worse at stopping and turning. But all of this leg work does have a physical appearance benefit for the Derby Girls. "We have a thing called Derby butt," Julia boasted. And she's right, the girl's thighs look like they could crush my skull in if I got out of line. Actually, of their backsides look better than Kim Kardashian's rear-end.
The ladies, after putting up with my lack of motor skills still decided to grace me with my own Roller Derby name; "Walker, Texas Danger."
If you want to join Dub City they have gear for you to borrow, a great training program, and they have a lot of fun!